Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

Does Hot Chocolate Have Caffeine?

There’s nothing quite like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold or snowy day, but does that cup of hot cocoa have caffeine? If you’re turning to hot chocolate as a source of caffeine, you’re in luck. The delicious beverage has some caffeine content, but not as much as a cup of joe. 

How Much Caffeine Is in Hot Chocolate?

The caffeine count in hot chocolate comes from cocoa beans, with an average cup having around 5 to 7 milligrams of caffeine. Compare this to the average of 96 milligrams in coffee, and you’ll quickly notice that hot chocolate mix probably won’t wake you up quite like a coffee will. 

Before going with coffee, read the ingredients label on the back of your hot chocolate canister. Some brands can have 20 milligrams or more of caffeine, especially if they use real cocoa beans and few additives. 

The amount of caffeine intake in your hot chocolate depends on the origin of cacao plants, cacao beans, and how many cacao beans are in it; each bean has about 0.1 percent of caffeine. Of course, the caffeine content varies among the different hot chocolate brands.

You may decrease the amount of caffeine in your hot chocolate through the addition of milk, water, cream, etc, but the caffeine will still be there. It is even there in the chocolate syrup that you may use in many of your beverages.

The white chocolate, despite having the word chocolate in its name, is not made from cacao beans and is caffeine free.

Which Type of Hot Chocolate Contains More Caffeine? 

Dark chocolates usually have more cocoa solids from caffeine-filled cocoa beans, and therefore, hot chocolate made with dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate. The best bet is to read the label or ask your barista at your favorite coffee shop. 

People like to drink caffeinated beverages because it helps them stay awake. If you drink too much caffeine, you can suffer from insomnia and anxiety. The recommended daily amount of caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant, for an average adult is 400 milligrams or less. 

Caffeine affects people differently, and you can build a tolerance to it. The body absorbs caffeine into the bloodstream affecting the nervous system by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter that causes relaxation. 

A hot mocha combines espresso and chocolate to increase the caffeine amount exponentially. A typical mocha can have up to 150 milligrams of caffeine since espresso uses more coffee grounds than other caffeinated drinks. People usually consume espresso as shots because of additional caffeine. 

Is It Possible To Reduce the Caffeine in Hot Chocolate Mixes?

If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can still drink hot chocolate. You should avoid caffeine-heavy popular hot chocolate brands like Starbucks and choose the packages at your local grocery store. Brands like Swiss Miss are known for their sweetness over caffeine. Avoid dark chocolate variations so you can fall asleep easily. 

Many soft drinks contain caffeine. For example, a 20-ounce serving of Coca-Cola has about 56 milligrams of caffeine, a Mountain Dew has about 91 milligrams of caffeine, and ginger ale has zero grams of caffeine (caffeine free). 

While hot chocolate isn’t full of caffeine, it has another ingredient that can give you a boost. Theobromine mimics the effects of caffeine while also making you feel calm and euphoric. This chemical found in cocoa powder does not keep you awake at night, like caffeine. 

Several soft drink companies make options without caffeine, but none of them taste quite like hot chocolate. If you are looking for a warm and sweet beverage, a soda probably won’t satisfy your craving like a hot chocolate. There’s something comforting about a steaming cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows on a cold day. 

Does Drinking Hot Chocolate Make It Difficult To Fall Asleep?

Rather than avoid hot chocolate at night for fear of staying awake, sip a little to relax and fall asleep joyfully. Caffeine can make people feel anxious and awake, while theobromine does not. 

Hot chocolate won’t wake you up like coffee and won’t give you the side effects of too much caffeine. Thanks to the small amount of caffeine, it’s a relatively healthy beverage unless your hot chocolate contains sugar. 

Some variations have more than 30 grams of sugar, which is a significant amount. If you are watching your sugar intake, coffee or tea without sweeteners is a better choice. 

How Does Hot Chocolate Compare In Caffeine To Tea and Coffee?

If you’re looking for an alternative to coffee with plenty of caffeine, a good choice is a hot tea, especially chai tea. An average cup of hot chai tea has 50 milligrams of caffeine, while some beverage variations can have approximately 70 milligrams. That’s plenty of caffeine to give you a jolt of energy in the morning. 

The average caffeine content in the different types of teas is as follows:

  1. Green Tea – 28 mg in 8 fl oz.
  2. Black Tea – 47 mg in 8 fl oz.
  3. Oolong Tea – 38 mg in 8 fl oz.
  4. Herbal Tea – Nil.

All coffee beans, even decaf, have some caffeine. Typical decaf coffee has about 2 milligrams, which is slightly less than the 7 milligrams you might find in hot chocolate. If decaf coffee keeps you awake at night, you should avoid drinking hot chocolate before bed.


Does hot chocolate have caffeine? Yes, but not as much as a cup of coffee. Is hot chocolate healthier? Knowing how much caffeine is in hot chocolate can help you make smart decisions about the beverages you drink and the time of day you consume them.

What are your thoughts about hot chocolate and caffeine? Let us know in the comments below!

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